Smokeless Sugar: The Death of a Provincial Bureaucrat and the Construction of China's National Economy (Contemporary Chinese Studies Series)

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9780774816540: Smokeless Sugar: The Death of a Provincial Bureaucrat and the Construction of China's National Economy (Contemporary Chinese Studies Series)

Part history, part biography, and part mystery story, Smokeless Sugar traces the formation of a national economy in China through an intriguing investigation of the 1936 execution of an allegedly corrupt Cantonese official. Feng Rui, a Western-educated agricultural expert, introduced modern sugar milling to China in the 1930s as a key component in a provincial investment program. Before long, however, he was accused of colluding with smugglers to pass foreign sugar off as a domestic product. Emily Hill makes the case that Feng was, in fact, a scapegoat in a multi-sided power struggle for access to China’s markets and tax revenues.

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Part political biography, part economic history, and part murder mystery, Smokeless Sugar sheds new light on regional and national politics and state-led industrialization in Republican China by investigating the 1936 execution of a Cantonese official.

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Emily M. Hill is an associate professor of history at Queen's University.

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